Richard “Dick” Noel Oslund

Resided in Escanaba, Michigan
Died December 3rd, 2019

Richard Noel “Dick” Oslund, 87, 0f Escanaba, passed away Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at the Oscar G. Johnson V.A. Medical Center in Iron Mountain.

He was born in Escanaba on December 11, 1931, son of Melvin and Mabel (Murray) Oslund. He graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in 1949 and attended Jordan Catholic Seminary from 1955- 1958.

From 1951 to 1955 Dick served in the U.S. Navy in Korea.  He was District Executive for Boy Scouts of America from 1957 to 1967. He enjoyed 70 years in scouting, serving on many committees throughout his career and receiving many awards.  He enjoyed entertaining children and adults as a self-employed magician from 1967 to 2003. He was a member of Michigan Magicians Hall of Fame.

He was a member of St. Anne Church, Lions Club, Jaycee’s, Exchange Club, Rotary and he was a lifetime member of International Brotherhood of Magicians (69 years) and Boy Scouts of America (75 years).  He was an active member of the Bay De Noc Golden K Kiwanis helping out with their annual fundraisers and also put on their Christmas magic shows.

Among survivors are his sister, Mary K. (John) Pepin of Escanaba, nieces; Cathy Tolman of Escanaba, Cynthia Bani of Douglasville, GA; nephews, Bruce John Hurkmans of Villa Rica, GA, and Douglas Hurkmans of Green Bay, WI.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents and nephew, Daniel Hurkmans.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, December 7th from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at St. Anne’s Church.  Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11:30 a.m. with Rev. Fran DeGroot officiating.  A meal with follow in the church hall.

Burial will take place in the spring in Holy Cross Cemetery with military honors.

A message of condolence may be directed to the family by visiting

15 Tributes to “Richard “Dick” Noel Oslund”

  1. Dick was the kindest and most patient person I’ve ever met. He help mentor me in magic and taught me more than I can ever acknowledge. A goofy sense of humor, a genuine affection for all mankind, and a drive to help others.

    Meeting him and learning from him was literally a life-changing moment, and one that I’ll always be grateful for.

    I’ll remember him always.

    My sympathies to his family and friends and extended magical family.

  2. I am lifelong indebted to (“Tricky”) Dick.
    I’d be a dead musician today if not for Dick.
    Against the warnings of others, Dick hired me to work at the Gardner Dam Boy Scout in Langlade Wisconsin in 1970. The rest is history…

  3. Thinking back over the many times Dick pulled up in his RV and camped in our driveway. No matter how long he stayed it was never long enough as he shared his lessons in life and magic with my husband Andrew Martin Portala and later my son Eli as well. He had so much to share and talked at the speed of thought! No doubt he is now talking magic with the greats who went before him. Dick will be sorely missed in this world, even as his loving and giving spirit brightens the next.

  4. Dick truly had a great spirit. I understand why he originally entered seminary. Fortunately, through magic he was able to bless so many more than he would have been able to in a single parish. He was loved by many, including me. Thank you, Dick Oslund. I hope it was Karrell that met you at the heavenly gate!

  5. He was a wonderful man with a great sense of humor. I always enjoyed what he had to say. He shall be missed here at Harbor Tower. But, he will be remembered always, with a smile.

  6. Dick was one of the most generous magicians I ever met!

    He was always so willing to help me with an indescribable alacrity. If I needed something, he was there to help.

    He always regaled me with his wonderful anecdotes about him and a young, fresh yet to be famous Doug Henning at Abbott’s when Doug drove a broken down van that needed a push!

    I always loved Dick’s wonderful stories and his generous spirit at the Magic Cafe. Dick will leave some really big shoes to fill that I don’t think will be filled for a long, long time.

    Dick, you will be sorely missed!! Rest In Peace, my magical friend!

  7. Dick was my mentor in magic, Scouting, and like a “favorite uncle” to me and my sons. I will so completely miss our conversations but will always remember and cherish the memories and many lessons about magic, life, and treating people the best. God speed!

  8. What a man …What a Talent. I will miss our conversations – of course they were all about magic. I learned a lot from Dick. He was an encyclopedia of anything and everything about magic. He loved his art and she loved him back. Gonna miss you my friend….Cheerio…Rick Fisher

  9. We were first introduced in the fall of 1956 when Mr. Oslund worked as the southwestern district executive for the Scenic Trails Council of the Boy Scout of America in northwestern lower Michigan. He was instrumental in chartering BSA Troop 164, sponsored by the Lincoln Elementary School P.T.A. where I became a member after turning eleven years old. Additionally, his job description included directing the council summer camp south of Traverse City on Rennie Lake, Camp Greilick. Mr. Oslund exhibited many skills as a leader and organizer and was highly esteemed and well-respected by scout leaders and the boys in their troops. He used his abilities and training to mold camp staff members into cohesive units able to facilitate the growth of boys into young men within the summer camp program environment, relying on the tenets of the Boy Scout Oath, Laws, and Motto–Be Prepared!

    A few years later, Mr. Oslund worked to organize a scouting program targeted to under-served older boys (14-17) in our town. Explorer Post 64 was chartered and sponsored by the local I.O.O.F.

  10. While attending Region 7 Camp Staff Training School in Cromwell, Indiana (June 1970), I again met and became re-acquainted with Mr. Oslund who was the program section instructor. By the end of the intensive week of training, he extended an invitation to me to join the staff of Gardner Dam Camp in north central Wisconsin.
    One of his proudest achievements, I believe, during his summers directing Scout camps was promoting and facilitating the the return to patrol cooking at the troop campsite. A concept unpopular by many leaders, with perseverance he changed the minds of his critics and was imitated by other BSA camps in the region. Over many years, “Dick” has been a mentor and friend to many of his former camp staff members. He lived the Scout Laws: a Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. At the 75th Anniverary of Gardner Dam Camp in 2007 we met again wth many former GDC staff members from the early 1970’s. A few years later, we organized mini-reunions in September at GDC (2012-2017) where memories were shared over a weekend with food, friends, and a campfire. Rest in Peace, my Friend.

  11. Sorry to hear of Mr. Oslund’s passing. I will never forget him taking me aside for an hour or two, with patience and sincerity, and giving me a “master class” on teaching a group [while I worked on the summer camp staff at BSA Camp Greilick in the early 1960’s]. His example shaped my approach for life.

  12. I worked with Dick at Gardner Dam in 1970. I was on the trail, leading 50 mile trips that summer, so my time with him was limited. I recall his kindness and caring towards all of us. Years latter, when I met him at a Camp reunion, I was more impressed than in my days spending my misspent youth. He’ll be missed.


  13. Dick was very generous to me. In the short time I knew him we corresponded a lot over the internet and he taught me great deal about magic. He was an extrememly good magician who knew what mattered and he was always a pleasure to talk to. I am honoured to have met him, even if it was only in a virtual sense.

    My heartfelt sympathy to his sister Mary, and to his nieces and nephews.

    Thanks, Dick.

  14. I only recently heard about Dick’s passing, as I had been trying to contact him after being sick for a few months.

    Dick and I only knew eachother through the internet and telephone, but he was like a father to me. He never judged me, he always pushed me to do the right thing, and he taught me SO MUCH about life and magic in the several years that I knew him.
    I am devastated by his passing. I only wish he and I had finished our final magic discussion (we always left eachother with a question, and that kept our conversation going for a very long time, with each of us learning something new each day).

    I know Dick will be living through so many of us. He has an impact on SO many lives in his near 90 years on this rock.

    And remember, his book is a great way to keep him in our memories.

    If more people lived their lives like Dick Oslund, this would be a much better planet on which to live.

    Until we meet again, dear friend.
    I love you very much.

  15. A true gentleman. I met him when I was 13 and over the years he gave great advice, stayed at my place in LA with loud birds, and was always entertaining. When I discovered his obituary this morning, I cried. We knew each other over 50 years. Rest well my friend. Thanks for your knowledge.

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